An internship can be an invaluable part of an individualized major. The knowledge, skills, and connections that you acquire through an internship will be a key asset as you seek employment or apply to graduate or professional schools. We strongly recommend that you include one in your plan of study.
Finding an Internship
Obtaining an internship can be time consuming. You should start the process 6-9 months in advance. If you are unsure where to start, visit the Center for Career Development, in Wilbur Cross 201 or on the web at career.uconn.edu. A portion of the CCD website is devoted exclusively to internships: http://career.uconn.edu/internships-and-coops/.
When completing an internship for credit you will enroll in an internship course in a relevant department. A credit-bearing internship is a three-way agreement between you, your internship site supervisor, and your faculty supervisor. This agreement is formalized in a learning contract. What steps should you take to set up an internship for credit?
- Identify a relevant department where you will seek faculty supervision. Consider the content of your internship and the focus of your major as you select a department.
- Make sure you have met that department’s internship course prerequisites. A common prerequisite is one or more courses at the 1000-level in the department. Some departments require one or more courses at the 2000-level or higher. Some have a minimum GPA requirement. Check the catalog and department websites.
- Enroll in an internship course. This will require a permission number. Most departments designate one of their faculty or staff as the primary contact person for students who wish to enroll in the department’s internship course. Don’t wait until you have an internship offer in hand before you find a faculty supervisor/internship course. Explore your departmental supervision options at the same time as you apply and/or interview for an internship.
- Know that each credit of internship must entail at least 42 hours of work and the required number of work hours must be clearly stated in your internship contract.
- Consider the cost. Your regular tuition will cover the cost of internship credits during the academic year, but if you do an internship during the summer, you will be charged tuition based on the number of credits that you will earn. If cost is an issue, consider enrolling in fewer internship credits.
- Remember that there is no retroactive credit! To receive credit for an internship, you must register prior to undertaking the work; you cannot receive retroactive credit for internship work you have already completed.
Departmental Contacts for Internship Courses
If you wish to complete an internship for credit, you will need a faculty supervisor from a relevant academic department. Make sure that you meet departmental prerequisites and/or GPA requirements.
COMM 4991 Internship in Communication
Contact: José (Joel) Nebres
COMM internship page
- Human Development and Family Studies
HDFS 3080 Supervised Field Experience
Contact: Kristin Van Ness
- Political Science
POLS 3991 Supervised Field Work
Contact: Kimberly Bergendahl
POLS internship page
PSYC 3880 Field Experience
Contact: Chelsea Zabel or Jessica Groves
PSYC internship page
ENGL 3091 Writing Internship
Contact: Ruth Fairbanks
ENGL internship page
SOCI 3990 Internship: Field Experience and SOCI 3991 Internship: Research Paper
Contact: Katherine Covey
- Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
WGSS 3891 Internship Program
Contact: Marita McComiskey (Fall) or Barbara Gurr (Spring)
The Individualized Major Program has adopted the CLAS policy on internships for all individualized majors (both CLAS and CAHNR) and therefore the following restrictions apply:
- Payment. Paid internships are allowed, provided that such payment is incidental to the experiential learning to be gained from the work.
- Lobbying. Some internships involve legislative lobbying, in order to affect the content of legislation or budgetary decisions. This is allowed as long as it does not include lobbying about legislation or budget decisions directly affecting the University of Connecticut. It is especially important that you do not engage in face-to-face legislative lobbying for the University.